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Sharpsburg candidate has criminal record

November 13, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

Sharpsburg candidate has criminal record



SHARPSBURG - Washington County election officials have launched an investigation into the eligibility of a Sharpsburg Town Council candidate after it was learned the candidate has a criminal history.

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In Sharpsburg, candidates must be legally registered voters to run for public office, Town Attorney Charles Wagaman said.

Jeffrey Irvin Sheffler registered to vote at the Washington County Board of Elections on Sept. 15, just before he filed his candidacy for the Town Council. Election Board attorney Roger Schlossberg said Thursday he was uncertain whether Sheffler's voter registration is legitimate because he has two theft convictions.

The Election Board will consider the legitimacy of Sheffler's voter registration at its 2 p.m. meeting today, said Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel.

The convictions, including one case where he was ordered to pay nearly $50,000 in restitution, came to light during a routine inquiry by The Herald-Mail.

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Sheffler said Friday an election board official told him that that despite his criminal history he was eligible to be a registered voter.

"I wouldn't have filed if I didn't think I was eligible to do so," said Sheffler, 37, of 116 E. Antietam St.

The voter registration application states the applicant must not have been convicted, without a pardon, more than once for an infamous crime. An infamous crime is defined on the form as "any felony, treason, perjury, or any crime involving an element of deceit, fraud or corruption."

According to Sheffler's parole release form in Washington County Circuit Court, he was convicted of one count of theft over $300 and one count of theft under $300.

Theft over $300 is classified as a felony, and theft under $300 as a misdemeanor.

In the misdemeanor case, Sheffler was given an 18-month suspended sentence for accumulating thousands of dollars in cash advances and purchases on bogus credit cards in 1990-91 when he was a customer service representative for Citicorp, according to court records. He was ordered to pay $49,572 in restitution, records show.

Court records state Sheffler pleaded guilty to felony theft in the credit card case. Sheffler said that charge was later reduced to misdemeanor theft.

Sheffler was ordered to serve the 18-month sentence after being found guilty of violating his probation in April 1994, court records state. The violation involved providing misleading information about his employment, according to court records.

Sheffler pleaded guilty to felony theft in March 1994 for depositing in his checking account $6,492.85 from insurance checks made out to his employer, a doctor, according to court records. He was sentenced to an additional four years in prison to run consecutively to the 18-month sentence.

Sheffler was granted parole from Roxbury Correctional Institution in August 1996, according to his order for release. He was ordered to be supervised by the home detention unit until December 1996. His parole expired on Sept. 30, 1999.

Sheffler stated in an e-mail to The Herald-Mail that he had learned from his past and wants to serve the community.

"For my past has no merit to the future in which I feel I can and will do a superb job," he wrote.

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